PURSUIT OF CALM #27
Physical training for mental well-being
Mind training for physical well-being

2022 is now here and we may feel inclined to reflect, reevaluate and implement some New Year resolutions.

Typically, and possibly due to feeling a tad ‘fatigued and bloated’ as a result of over-consuming the previous week, New Year resolutions cantend to revolve around a desire to implement ‘new behaviours’ that aim to improve more aesthetic aspects of our wellbeing, such as losing weight, eating ‘clean’, exercising more yada yada yada

However in this short post I’d like to suggest a different approach. This approach isn’t seeking an external ‘fix’ or ‘remedy’ to your ails, this approach is an internal process. So rather than attempt to change your life, change what you’re doing in your life.

It’s an approach that isn’t defined by a determined period of time, like a ‘diet’.

It’s an approach also that isn’t guaranteeing or promising any immediate tangible beneficial results.

In fact this counter-intuitive approach is going to highlight the opposite, and ask you to learn to lean into and embrace where, and how to fail, fail again, and again, but each time fail better.

It’s an approach only you can do – you can’t rely on a coach, priest, guru or instructor.

You have to do the work, which is usually a laborious process of trial and error.

 

“Sounds awesome Luke, where do I sign up?”…said no one ever

 

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Work With You Biggest Obstacle First

Q: If I was to ask you what is the biggest obstacle in your life that is impacting your physical and mental well-being, what would you say?

What is the one thing that:

  • You innately know deep down, but ignore, that is the very root cause of your inability to maintain consistent focus and practiceon your well-being.
  • If you were to soberly itemise your daily actions, what is the one thing that is at the heart of your cravings, addictions, distractions, impulsive and compulsive behaviours?
  • What is the one thing that you’d find incredibly challenging, and possibly terrified, to give up?
  • What is something that you have been doing the majority of your adult life, yet you both tolerate and allow ‘it’ to contravene your ability to be as kind as possible to yourself?
  • What is causing you the most dis-calm in your day to day
  • What is the one thing that is making your wellbeing an adjunct to your life rather than the centrepiece?

Can you pin-point it?

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There’s a terrific Buddhist slogan that says “work with the greatest defilement first”. So rather than ignoring and avoiding the elephant in your room – the very same elephant that is at the heart of your self-destructive behaviours – you begin the slow arduous journey to identify and embrace it. As Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche says, “working with the (our) greatest defilements means working with the highlights of your experience or your problems. You do not just want to work with the chicken shit, you want to work with the chicken as well.” 

Working with your biggest obstacle first is a journey that will undoubtably unearth a lot of mucky-stuff – the mucky-stuff that is responsible for making us stuck, tired, and anxious. This also means, it’s that very same mucky-stuck that will provide you the raw materials to remedy your destructive behaviours.

We need to learn to understand the self to understand that it is the source of our problems – and the source of our liberation.

Your ill-being and well-being are different sides of the same coin.

This means you will know exactly where to look.

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At the end of 2021, I took time out during training to ask each of my clients what was their biggest obstacle.

Sleep, alcohol consumption, stress, anxiety, cravings and lack of self-control were the most common answers.

So this year I have made the commitment to each of my clients to support them in anyway I can to work with their obstacle.

I don’t have the answers, but I can offer host strategies, ideas, and support, and quite possibly most importantly, questions. Questions to get to the heart of the matter.

I’d like to extend that same offer to anyone reading this article. If you find yourself struggling with a particular obstacle, or can’t seem to pin it down, or struggling to know where to start, then don’t hesitate to send me an email.

Our biggest obstacles, left to their own devices, have such a insidiously detrimental impact on every aspect our of wellbeing and our ability to exert consistent effort to take the best care of ourselves.

That is why working with them is understandably challenging, but vitally important. Ultimately if perseverance is maintained you will see a dramatic and profound upturn in your present life trajectory, and be rewarded with an awesome sense of flourishing fulfilment, joy and vitality.  

 

Get to the heart of the matter and ask: What’s my biggest obstacle?

HNY!
Peace & Health
Luke